Near the north end of Silicon Slopes, Utah’s answer to the tech-heavy San Francisco Bay area, sits the growing city of Draper. Back in 1990, Draper was a town of just 7,000 best known for its prison. Today, the city of 51,000 is the hub for several established tech campuses and acts as a beacon for expanding startups looking for a place to put down roots. The prison, meanwhile, is moving up the road to Salt Lake City.
Anchored by the longtime 1-800 CONTACTS headquarters and an eBay campus built in 2013, Draper’s business landscape is ever-expanding. Divvy, an expense management company, and Pluralsight, the developer of a technology teaching platform, are among the latest companies to build their headquarters in the city. Perhaps as a result of the heavy tech presence, Draper’s median household income is relatively high at about $112,000.
But Draper has more to love than industry alone. Located along the western side of the Traverse Mountains, the area is full of hiking trails and natural beauty. Plus, it’s only 25 minutes to Salt Lake City by public transportation (which costs $3.70 one-way) and 20 minutes by car. A longer trek will bring you to Antelope Island State Park, a sandy beach along Utah’s famed Salt Lake. — Shaina Mishkin